Mobile banking was first introduced in developing countries as a way to provide banking services to communities that lacked formal financial institutions. In recent years, mobile banking has taken a prominent role in the technology world and as a tool for improving financial access. While over 30 million Americans are unbanked (meaning they lack a traditional checking or savings account and rely on costly alternative financial services), over 83% of American adults have a mobile phone. Thus mobile banking may provide opportunities for increasing financial access among the millions of unbanked individuals. This webinar provided an overview of the history of mobile banking, as well as current developments in the products and services available. Panelists also discussed the ability and effectiveness of using mobile banking to reach the unbanked and the regulations and consumer protections that need to be implemented in order to ensure that this new technology is safe and successful.
Mr. Levy spearheads CFSI’s strategy for researching, promoting, and evaluating impact around its key innovation areas: prepaid cards, savings, consumer credit, mobile banking, and financial capability. He oversees execution of multi-method research projects, conducts individual research, and produces content for CFSI dissemination. Mr. Levy also works directly with internal and external stakeholders to help CFSI advance its strategic priorities with the goal of changing the financial services experience of underbanked customers.
Michelle Jun is a Senior Attorney at the West Coast Office of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports ® magazine. She has been a member of the financial services team since 2005. Ms. Jun’s current focus is on payment products and payment methods. Her expertise are specifically in mobile payments, prepaid cards, government issued cards and gift cards. She staffed the Financial Privacy Now campaign, a multi-state and federal campaign to bring stronger financial privacy and identity theft protections to consumers. Ms. Jun first came to Consumers Union as part of the Community Health Assets Project (CHAP) team, to provide assistance to community advocates and regulators on ensuring the preservation of community health assets resulting from the sale of non-profit hospitals.
Marianne Crowe is a vice president in the Treasury and Financial Services department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She serves as the Mobile Payments Project manager and payments liaison to the Consumer Payments Research Center. Her previous roles at the Boston Fed include vice president/project manager in the Consumer Payments Research Center, assistant vice president of business development, the National Image Archive service, and the Boston check operations. Prior to joining the Fed in 2000, Crowe worked at BankBoston in project and operations management positions. Crowe has been a member of the FSTC mobile payments workgroup and the NACHA Internet Council.
- Karen Harris and Alison Terkel, Mobile Banking: Can the Unbanked Bank on It?, 46 Clearinghouse Review 160 (July-August 2012)
- Introductory presentation slides
- Consumers Union, Mobile Pay or Mobile Mess: Closing the Gap Between Mobile Payment Systems and Consumer Protections (June 2011)
- Consumer Reports, Prepaid Cards: Loaded with Fees, Weak on Protections (March 2012)
- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Mobile Payments in the United States: Mapping Out the Road Ahead (March 2011)
- Breffni McGuire and Marianne Crowe, Mobile Banking in New England: The Current State of the Market (August 2009)
- Kate Marshall, Bart Narter, and Rob Levy, Reaching Underbanked Consumers Through Mobile Services (2011)
- Caroline Boyd, Kay Jacob, and Jennifer Tescher, Mobile Financial Services and the Underbanked: Opportunities and Challenges for Mbanking and Mpayments (April 2007)